The Transformative Power of 3D Digital Data
"Darling was able to scan the project in one and a half days and provide a detailed, accurate 3D model of the facility the engineers could immediately use to plan their upgrades with confidence."
Over the last 15 years, digital data has become an integral part of engineering and architectural workflows. Many companies use 3D laser scan data during the design phase of facility upgrades. Darling Geomatics, based in Phoenix, Ariz., has provided 3D laser scanning services to industrial, construction, engineering, mining, energy, airport, healthcare and sports clients since 2002. CEO Mary Darling says this approach is the most effective way to safely, quickly capture comprehensive and accurate measurements. For example, one of Darling’s clients did not have current as-built drawings when they got ready to design upgrades to their ammonia processing plant. The alternative to 3D scanning would have been for them to try to hand measure all pertinent areas of the plant. The manual process would have been dangerous as well as prohibitively time consuming and expensive. Darling was able to scan the project in one and a half days and provide a detailed, accurate 3D model of the facility the engineers could immediately use to plan their upgrades with confidence.
Another excellent use for 3D scan data is change detection. A copper mine client of Darling’s was concerned that the wall of a large storage tank had weakened and was beginning to shift or buckle. They asked Darling to monitor the wall for any movement. An initial baseline scan was performed, and then several months later a second scan of the wall was done. A comparison of the two datasets showed specific areas along the wall where slight movement was occurring. Darling will continue to scan the wall every few months to show the rate of movement over time.
This change detection process can be applied to topography as well. A client Darling has been working with for several years needs to monitor the changes to dry washes after the monsoon rains have come through to comply with their federal water permit. Over the years, Darling has been able to document the subtle changes that happen as nature has reshaped the bed of the washes. This pre-project geomorphology and pebble count information, acquired with Leica Geosystems 3D laser scanners, will be used as baseline data to determine changes in the stream channel substrate during and after project construction.
On average, the digital data acquired with 3D laser scanning saves four to six times the cost of the service by streamlining projects and eliminating rework and change orders. The data also enables the smart building apps, IoT processes and AI advances that are driving manufacturing plants into the future.
Talk to one of our industrial plant solutions experts to learn how you can benefit from 3D laser scanning.